A bearded man verbally and physically attacked a performer on the Varsity Plinth today, claiming that the singing was in fact shouting.
Plinth performer, Dan Grabiner, was verbally and physically attacked by a member of the public whilst singing on the Varsity plinth today.
A grey-bearded man approached the plinth and told Grabiner to “Fuck Off”. When Grabiner got off the plinth to remonstrate, the man then tried to kick him and hit him with his bag.
Katy King, an eyewitness, told The Tab, “an old man walked up to Dan and said ‘Fuck off! This isn’t singing, it’s shouting.’ Dan went up to the man and started singing at the stranger who tried to kick Dan and swung his bag at him.”
Grabiner, a 3rd year from Magdalene College, is the lead singer of The Joker and the Thief.
He commented, “I did the normal ten minutes and then stayed for a bit longer and this guy just went mental. There was a lot of swinging of bags going on so I started singing all the gospel stuff I could think of at him.”
He added, “there’s nothing a musician hates more than a bearded attacker!”
Laura Freeman, Arts editor at Varsity, and the brains behind the Plinth project, said, “Dan was doing a fantastic set, the blues, and this bearded man in an overcoat swept through a group of Spanish tourists, who were having a nice time, and started shouting.”
The Varsity First Plinth Project was inspired by “One and Other”, Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square, where members of the public stand for one hour each on the fourth plinth.
Freeman worked with Anthony Gormley over the summer and thought that "One and Other" was the best thing that had happened on the Fourth Plinth and wanted to do a scaled down version in Cambridge.
Varsity’s plinth involved ten “living sculptures” occupying a plinth for ten minutes each on King’s Parade. Other performances included a magician, some cast members of sketch group Good Clean Men, cider pressing and a RAG raider collecting for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Freeman commented, “we couldn’t have asked for any more drama!”
One eyewitness, who refused to be named described the attacker as a "bearded tosspot."
The identity of the bearded man has not yet been ascertained.